McDaniel Going To Trial In Death Penalty Case

Oct. 4 Date Set In Mary Lou Wojcik Slaying

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Timothy McDaniel, right, confers with attorney John Brooks.
Timothy McDaniel, right, confers with attorney John Brooks.
- photo by John Wilson

An Oct. 4 trial has been set for the man charged with killing real estate agent Mary Lou Wojcik.

Timothy McDaniel earlier had been given more time to decide if he wanted to take an offer of life without parole or go to trial.

On Tuesday morning, Criminal Court Judge Steve Bevil set the trial date, indicating McDaniel rejected a state offer.

The case was moved to the Bevil court due to concern about statements made by Judge Doug Meyer. Judge Meyer, who has two other death penalty cases in his court, said on Feb. 10 at a hearing in the McDaniel case that it "costs the state a fortune for a death penalty case."

He said, "I sincerely hope the defendant accepts the offer for all of our sakes."

Judge Meyer told McDaniel if he does not take the offer, he is risking getting the death penalty.

Police say McDaniel confessed to killing Ms. Wojcik at her Mountain Shadows Home in East Brainerd.

Judge Bevil set Aug. 10 as a date to hear motions.

Attorneys John Brooks and Jerry Sloan represent McDaniel, who was the boyfriend of the daughter of Ms. Wojcik.

McDaniel is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated burglary.

County Det. Robert Starnes testified earlier that McDaniel gave a graphic description of the murder.

Officials said McDaniel was angry with Mrs. Wojcik because she did not want her daughter dating him and had sent her to Iowa to a boarding school.

The body of the victim was found in the master bathroom in the early morning hours Dec. 8, 2002.

McDaniel was apprehended about two weeks later in Catoosa County.

Detectives said McDaniel said he, Nicholas Webster and Joseph Gray went to the Mountain Shadows home to get some easy money.

McDaniel said he broke in with a pry-bar and went to the master bathroom, where he found the victim. Detectives recounted McDaniel’s description of the murder and said he then left the house and joined the two companions who were waiting outside.

It was earlier testified that McDaniel said they returned to the Gray house where Webster washed the knife used in the attack, and both Webster and Gray helped him burn the clothing he had been wearing. He then buried the murder weapon behind the house near a shed.


Chattanooga, Soddy Daisy Men Among Those Caught In Knoxville Meth Conspiracy

A federal grand jury in Knoxville returned a 32-count indictment on July 21, against 36 individuals involved in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, a conspiracy to launder money, and numerous firearms offenses, including Eduardo Rivera Gattorno of Chattanooga and Brady Thompson of Soddy Daisy. Those indicted include:   Martin Kenneth Wheeler, Jr., 50, ... (click for more)

Governor's Council Extends Application Deadline For Vacancy In 9th Judicial District

The Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments has extended the deadline for applications for the Criminal Court judge vacancy in the 9 th  Judicial District – Loudon, Meigs, Morgan, and Roane counties. The impending vacancy has been created by Judge E. Eugene Eblen’s announcement that he is retiring effective  Dec. 31 . The council received two applications for ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat - And Response

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My September Garden

As we begin the annual pilgrimage into fall, I walk through my garden and, in the spirit of Orchids and Onions, I see colorful mums starting to flower at the same time dried-up weeds are begging to be pulled. So as we turn the calendar to September, here are some things that catch my eye: A COLORFUL MUM to Chattanooga State for unveiling the Michael Hennen Hospitality Center in ... (click for more)

Jumper, Ex-Baylor Star, To Start For Vols Against Bowling Green

When 25th-ranked Tennessee plays Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, former Baylor School standout Colton Jumper will be the Vols’ starting middle linebacker. The 6-foot-2-inch, 227-pound Jumper played at Baylor for coach Phil Massey and recorded 251 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, two interceptions, caused five fumbles, recovered two ... (click for more)

County Schools Waiting On Report On Condition Of East Ridge High Stands

County school officials are awaiting a report from city of East Ridge inspectors on the condition of the concrete football stands at East Ridge High School. Lee McDade, assistant supt., said maintenance of the stands is up to the county schools. The concrete stands are currently roped off. The concrete complex includes a lower area with coaches' offices and player dressing ... (click for more)